Sometimes, people just don’t think through what they’re saying. That’s especially true for those overused, tired phrases that are buried so deeply in our subconscious that we seem to regurgitate them with little co-operation from our brain.
But when it comes to articulating key messages to an internal or external audience, you need to ask yourself if you’re really saying what you want to say – well before you put your foot in it…
Messages need to be organised into cohesive, informative narrative so that there is little room for doubt. The real risk of journalists quoting you out of context may very well be minimized if you root out meaningless phrases before you put voice to them.
It’s time to put phrases like the ones below to rest. Let’s face it – they have little inherent meaning and often come across as trite:
- Start at the beginning
Isn’t that where you’d expect to start…?
- Let me begin by saying…
Is someone actually stopping you…? Just say it!
- We, as human beings…
As opposed to what? We as orangutans?
- All things considered
One would hope that all has been taken into consideration before you open your mouth
- All in all
Is this a contrast to ‘some in some?’ Or to ‘none in none?’
- At the end of the day
Has your message actually got anything to do with the time of day?
- Drill down
As opposed to what?
- Going forward
Oh, not back to front…?
- I’ll be honest with you
One would hope so…
I could go on, but I think you get my drift…
English is a living language. Don’t kill it.